Jordan Peterson: How To Become The Person You’ve Always Wanted To Be | E113

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if you want to know something about yourself sit on your bed one night and say what's one thing I'm doing wrong that I know I'm doing wrong that I could fix that I would fix you meditate on that you'll get an answer and it won't be one you want but it'll be the necessary one when you're trapped some of it's your own inadequacy what you can do to begin with is every bloody thing you possibly can do to put yourself in the most virtuous and Powerful negotiating position possible wherever I go in the world people come up to me and they often have a pretty rough story to relate it's an awful thing because you see even in the revelation of their

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Triumph the initial depth of their despair so I wouldn't change that but it's not nothing it's certainly not just happiness it's better than happiness but it's almost unbearable quick one can you do me a favor if you're listening to this and hit the Subscribe button the follow button wherever you're listening to this podcast thank you so much the conversation you guys have been waiting for I say that because of the thousands and thousands of messages I've had since I announced that Jordan Peterson the man himself all the way from Canada came here to sit in my kitchen and have a

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conversation with me and what a conversation it was one of the most moving moments in the history of this podcast takes place in this conversation and I think the thing that people love about Jordan Peterson is his unrelenting desire to just say what he believes to be true not what he believes to be correct not what people want to hear not what people will be happy to hear and it's because of that it's because of his Pursuit Of Truth that he's managed to change millions and millions and millions of people's lives that is absolutely no understatement so without further Ado

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I'm Steven Bartlett and this is the D of CEO I hope nobody's listening but if you are then please keep this to yourself Jordan um first I feel I feel like I owe you a debt of gratitude and I want to say thank you for the the impact you've had on my life and I I'll point at the the specific impact you've had on my life um I and you asked me before we started recording why this podcast had been successful one of the reasons is actually something I've I've gained from from reading and listening to your work and that's this real commitment to trying to be your true self and trying to be your truth this podcast wouldn't be successful and I wouldn't have been

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successful in terms of um pursuing myself had I not understood the the importance of Truth across all facets of life and in my relationships which is a real pivotal thing for me and that's than so what's changed in your relationships as a consequence of that so um I I believe it's really difficult to truly connect some with someone if you're not be speaking and being your truth and I I wasn't I was I I think I was wearing a mask in my relationships in a context if I didn't express how I was thinking and feeling I was trying to be who I thought my partner wanted me to be and at the point when I like I let

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down the mark and I started speaking my truth unex actually as I was departing from the relationship the relationship got stronger than ever before and it was like we were never actually connected until I was being true with her with my feelings with what I wanted with my life and since then I I would categorize my relationship as being the strongest thing I've ever seen in terms of a a romantic connection with someone and so when you were starting to talk in your relationship in a more truthful manner what did that mean that you had to admit I mean you just said that part of it was a disconnect between who you were trying

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to be and who you really were so that's a Persona issue right so you think maybe and everyone has this proclivity to some degree is they're deeply um self-conscious and uncertain and so instead of allowing the person they're with to connect with that underlying uncertainty and inadequacy they act out of persona yeah and then the problem is is that well perhaps the person falls in love with that persona but there's no real connection there it's it's an artifice and you know having said that one of the things that Carl Yung the great psychotherapist said about a Persona is don't be thinking that you're better off if you never formed one so

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for Yung it was a voyage from say undifferentiated self in infancy and so forth through Persona to authenticity because you have to to act out your ideals to some degree right and and and you also have to formulate a avatar of yourself in some sense that's a mediator between you and other people in casual social encounters like you don't want to walk into the bank and have the teller tell you about his or her day when you say how are you doing right I mean now and then that can happen but generally it's too much intimacy too quickly and so you need this this functional shell but the problem arises when that functional shell is all that

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there is and then the real person underneath is just desperate and and unhappy because nothing of what's being acted out reflects a true underlying reality what is the consequence the long-term consequence of acting so many people especially because of the world I live in in Instagram and social media we we kind of build out these personas and then we almost follow the implicit instructions that come with those personas well that's the problem right there is that well that that I'm trying to get a hold of the Disney people at the moment because I want to do a lecture series on Pinocchio because I think Pinocchio is brilliant work of art

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um and if you're a puppet and an actor and Pinocchio is both at times in that movie both a puppet and an actor so why an actor like why is there why is there something wrong with being an actor well the first question is well who sets your role and then the second question is who's pulling your strings so you've put on this front that is there to make you popular and sexy and desirable and to mask from yourself your own inadequacies but that's a role well who wrote it and for what purpose and so Yung said for example that we all acted out a myth and whether we knew it or not and you know maybe

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you're acting out a tragedy may maybe you're acting out narcissus you don't know because you've put that you've put that on yourself in an attempt in some ways to deliver to people what they want or more accurately to look as though you're delivering to people what they want and it's not nothing to do that right because at least you're attempting in some sense to adapt to the social World someone who's really infantile and dependent someone who's never left home part of their problem is that they haven't crafted a Persona so you don't want to denigrate entirely but it's no substitute for the real thing and it turns out that not

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only is what we want from each other the real thing but that's also the adventure of your life and so if you aren't truthful and that means unfortunately especially at the beginning when you start to be truthful it means deeply coming to terms with your inadequacies inh humility so it's very painful without that you don't have the adventure of your life you have the role that has been that you've acquiesced to and that'll take all the meaning out of your life the adventure of your life you say imagine who you could be and then aim single-mindedly at that um I encounter these young people who appear to know

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who they could be or they they've imagined who they could be but for whatever reason they seem to choose the certain misery of their current situation the job that's sucking their soul out or that relationship um over the uncertainty they'll encounter as they go on the adventure of their life so what would I say to these young people who always say to me Steve I I want to do this but you can see them stifled by fear because it's like yeah well it's like make a plan man it's so when I was doing my clinical work which I I did a lot of career work with my clients both at a beginner level I would say like really a beginner level with

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people who had no employment whatsoever no history of employment who are undereducated and who lacked every skill you could possibly imagine these were people who were really in dire Straits up to people who were operating at the top of their profession but who could still strategize forward and so for example let's say you're at a dead end in your job Cas so I don't find my work meaningful all right so that's a problem statement it's like well why not I find the work I do repetitive and boring and without spirit I have a bad relationship or a neutral relationship with my boss who doesn't know who I am um I have problems with co-workers all of that

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needs to be differentiated right and analyzed in detail so we might say for example let's say you believe that you're undervalued at work and maybe you are what you need to do is you have something to say and we would have to figure out what it is that you have to say but it would be some variant of I'm bringing more value to the table than I'm being compensated for and that's demoralizing me and it's also not good for you you being my boss because if I'm actually more valuable than is being recognized then the fact that you're not valuing me properly means that I will become demoralized I won't work properly and you won't get the best out of me so

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it's bad for both of us and if your boss is in principle not amenable to such a discussion then what you should seriously consider doing is finding another job okay so let's say we're going to set you up for this okay this isn't like next week's Enterprise man this is your life so the first thing I would ask is well do you have your resume or CV in order well I haven't typed it up for three years well what do you think about bringing it up well I'm pretty nervous about that because there's some holes in it and you know I didn't do so well in college and I'm kind of embarrassed about my resume it's like okay bring it in let's go through

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it let's let's let's at least update it let's look where the holes are let's look at where the inadequacies are as far as you're concerned right this isn't my judgment it's your judgment let's walk through those judgments and see if they're warranted because maybe you're just too guilty and ashamed and self-conscious and anxious and you're not you're looking at your resume more critically than someone else would and maybe there's some holes that you need to rectify you know you're you're at you you were two courses away from your ba and you dropped out or something like that well maybe we need six months to address that and at at least even if you

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can't be fully educated you could be taking some courses online and so when you went to a new job interview and they said what about this hole you'd say well I I came to terms with that six months ago and in an effort to rectify it I'm taking the following courses and here's my plan for completion that's a really good answer and anyone with any sense who's interviewing will accept that as an indication that although you're not perfect and who is that you have a good plan and that you've thought it through like that's the kind of answer that in all likelihood will cement your candidacy for the position okay so now you're going to go to your boss well you

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have to have your CV and your resume in order and you have to be able to stand on it solidly and which at least means that you're prepared to address the inadequacies in a credible realistic believable and truthful manner all right now what you do is apply for like 10 jobs you don't have to take them but maybe you have to go to an interview or two or three or four and maybe there's a bunch of opportunities out there for you that you didn't even know about and maybe someone offers you a job and so now now you can go to your boss and say here's the situation I'm in here at work um here's my evaluation of the problems in relationship to me here's

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what I could do for you if you gave me a 40% raise and the opportunity to progress but I'd like to see a plan for that and um I've been looking for other opportunities before conducting this discussion and I have some well then if your boss treats you with contempt at that point and doesn't listen then perhaps he or she is a little more narcissistic then might be optimal and it's time to find a new job but this isn't something you do trivially and so when you're doubtful say you're trapped you ask yourself well why am I trapped trapped that's a hard question right because some of it's your own inadequacy a lot of it and all

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of the part of it that you can deal with is your own inadequacy so even if it's unfair you know even if you're hemmed in for any number of reasons inappropriate like ethnically predicated oppression let's say or maybe you live at you're in a a workplace that really is sexist in some fundamental sense well that's not good it's not just it's not fair it's it's not meritorious all of those things and maybe you shouldn't be there but what you can do to begin with is every bloody thing you possibly can do to put yourself in the most virtuous and Powerful negotiating position possible and you have to think like a

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snake in some sense to do that you got to get the details right you have to be prepared to bite and and you have to have your eyes on the prize so to speak and people aren't taught this sort of thing ever really they're not taught how to negotiate they're not taught how to goal set they're not taught how to conceptualize appropriate success in some broad sense in some sense that's what the humanities are supposed to teach people so on that point of understanding my inadequacies or someone's inadequacies I I really believe um that it's really difficult to undergo self-development if you don't have self-awareness and I was I was

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really trying to understand from your writings how someone one is to build their self-awareness it's almost like the unknown unknown if you don't have it how do you build the thing I know a good exercise for that it's like a prayer in some sense in fact I would say it's proper prayer if you want to know something about yourself sit on your bed one night and say to yourself you got to mean this like you got to be desperate this is no game this it's like my life is not everything I wanted to be and perhaps it's not everything that I need it to be and by need I mean my life is so unbearable that the suffering that's attended upon that has make me

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nihilistic cynical bitter resentful homicidal genocidal in unable to have a good relationship Pro prone to punish people for their virtues because of my jealousy uh driving the proclivity to see evil everywhere except within my own Heart Like These are problems man and you ask yourself you sit on the bed and say okay man I'm ready to learn something like what what's one thing I'm doing wrong that I know I'm doing wrong that I could fix that I would fix it's like you meditate on that you'll get an answer and it won't be one you want but it'll be the necessary one you know and it it's often something that will point

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you to small things so Carl Jung said people in the modern world don't see God cuz they don't look low enough and so imagine you're in your messy bedroom you know and you're sitting on the edge of the bed trying to have an honest dialogue with yourself and the little voice says you know it's pretty disgusting in here and you think well I'm way above Such trivial niceties as organizing my room it's like well that's Pride that's arrogance if you're above organizing what's actually yours how in the world are you ever going to organize anything else and so you get on your knees and you think well it's time to you know take a brush to the toilet

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and maybe that's where you start and so and that works like that works you start making those micro improvements like real micro improvements real on the ground actual micro improvements to things you know that are wrong you'll improve unbelievably rapidly what you're talking about there sounds to me a lot like come an overdose of arrogance and also the need for humility do you think the Western World suffers from arrogance because of our our our relative um privilege and luxury that we kind of Overlook of course well that's a Temptation right I mean when the when

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the left radical Lefty types go after people for their unearned privilege they have a point now the point is the existentialists called it thress which is another that's a hiigaran term and thrownness is the fact that we kind of experience life as if we're tossed into it thrown into it you know you're you're male and not female you're you're Hindu and not Christian you're tall and not short you have an arbitrary range of talents and an arbitrary range of limitations none of which in some sense you chose it's the cards you're dealt now some of those are cards of privilege you know maybe you're born intelligent

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maybe you're born symmetrical maybe you're born healthy um maybe you're born into a culture where it's much easier not to be absolutely deprived maybe your parents are rich and so all of that in some sense is unearned now along with that comes a good dose of existential guilt because at the same time and this is true for anyone regardless of their cultural background the ground we walk on is soaked in the blood of historical atrocity and so that's on you because you know people think well who's the Nazi well it's the fascist or it's the or who's the radical communist it's the radical left-wing ideologue and the

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fundamental truth of the matter is that's best dealt with as a spiritual matter is the adversary is within really most profoundly and so you have to take the responsibility for that historical atrocity onto yourself I was talking to guy Richie this week about his movie King Arthur it's quite an interesting movie in many ways and when Arthur who could be the hero takes the sword he's so overcome by visions of his murderous uncle that he can't pick up the weapon well think about that now you have weapons at your disposal but they they've been used by your murderous Uncle how dare you wield them and the answer is maybe it's easy

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just to leave the sword on the ground because you do want to be responsible for atrocities going forward and don't think you couldn't be and don't think you might not enjoy it and so the way you pay for your privilege is with your virtue I mean that most particularly you have these opportunities and this existential guilt and the way you expiate that and atone is by doing your best to live the best possible life you can manage to speak the truth to treat people with respect to abide by the principles of the Dignity of the individual and to put your house in order and that's how you

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pay for your unearned privilege all of us and we all have our Privileges and our and our curses you know all of us have that that's why it's not useful to be envious of people you know you see some you're a young man you see someone drive by in a Ferrari with a blonde and you think my God he's got everything and you know the woman in the car is a prostitute who's got a cocaine addiction and her her life is just one catastrophe after another and he's had to lie and cheat his way into this position and he's afraid that everything's going to come crashing down on him and that's what you're jealous of and it's just not that profound you don't want someone

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else's fate man your Fate's enough and your adventure is enough it's plenty it's more than you can ever fully realize and so that's also part of the reason that we all believe that the individual has some intrinsic dignity it's don't be so sure that your position and your room is so damn trivial it might be your attitude towards it that's trivial and if you're in Dire Straits and dire circumstances just look at how much opportunity you have to make things better so not that it's easy I you don't even want it to be easy you know so on that point of you don't want it to

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be easy I've really contended with this idea of struggle and Chaos in my life and the role it plays and once upon a time I thought I was trying to rid my life of chaos and struggle I thought that's why I was trying to get rich and get the Ferrari and the blonde I thought that would create a life um free of Free of struggle but then I looked at some studies and I S heard about this thing called gold medal depression when ions come back from the Olympics and they've lost orientation and then the day when someone offered to buy my company for a eight nine nine figure number and it filled me with this emptiness and this dread and I I and I tried to understand

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the role that struggle would would would have to play for me to be a fulfilled human being for the rest of my life yeah well that the the observation with regard to your company that's a that's a great observation I mean we're built to walk up hill and when you reach the Pinnacle of the Hill you want to stop and appreciate the vision but the next thing you want is a higher Hill in the distance because it's the uphill climb that it's it's from the uphill climb that we derive our value and I mean this technically so almost all the positive emotion we feel especially the the the the emotion that fills us with enthusiasm and that's to be filled with

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the spirit of God by the way because that's what enthusiasm means that's experienced in relationship to a goal and so in some sense and this is part of the religious Enterprise you want a goal that you can never attain right so you can always move closer to the goal that recedes as you move towards it you think well that's frustrating it's like cifas pushing the rock uphill but it's not because as you pursue that goal you put yourself together and your life does get better and richer and more abundant that's why the highest levels of virtue and goal are in some sense Transcendent you want them to be above everything you're doing

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so you can continually move towards something that's more Sublime and better that's what you are you're you're here to live not to not to sleep and the problem with the vision of my Ties on the beach is that well first of all that's an invis that's a vision of of drug induced unconsciousness second it's only going to work for about a week third you're going to be a laughing stalk in a month and depressed and aimless and and goalless it's no that's not it's it's you want a horizon of ever expanding possibility and so it does happen to people is they because they've staked their soul on the attainment of an instrumental goal and it it can be a

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pretty high order goal it was in your case but then you think well I've now I'm there now what well the answer can't be well I'm going to live in the lap of luxury and never have to leave a f what do you want to be a giant infant with a gold with a gold bottle you never have to do anything but lay in your back and suck it's like well you see the problem with that as a as a as a conceptualization it's no you want to be like an active Warrior moving uphill with your sword in hand and that's that's Dynamic that's exciting and that's why so many young men disappear into video games it's that's all acted out in the video game so they

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have to act that out in their own life not that I despise video games because I don't but they're not a substitute for life they might be good training under some conditions for life so one of the things I was also really really Keen to ask you was about the the the what's happened in the world over the last two years one of the shifts we've seen in the business world is this move to remote working and I hate it and I hate it for a variety of reasons because I feel like there's very few institutions in in our in my life where I have a chance to meaningfully connect with with people dating has become screens socializing has become screens and the

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office the institution of the office in my life was one of the places especially as a younger man where I got to meet pretty much 90% of my current best friends and also partners and and I really worry about um sitting behind a zoom uh doing my work um for for the for the next 10 years what is your take on remote working well I like it and I don't like it I I think it's very difficult for us to understand our embodied environments well enough to duplicate them in a healthy and comprehensive manner in the virtual world because we just don't understand what it is that we're doing when we actually do things rather than

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represent them so for example I've thought a lot about online university okay so then you could imagine well you can certainly imagine online lecture courses uh and you could say well the fact that they can be delivered on a large scale very inexpensively is a virtue you can bring the knowledge to a very large number of people at a low cost so why not do that and so that's half the university and then you could say well imagine that you generated the system of universal tests which is possibility and that means you could bring accreditation to everyone at a low cost as well and that's that

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universities online but that presumes that you know what the university is and you don't because well here's some other things the university is an excuse for young a credible excuse that socially sanctioned for young people who have not yet established a career goal to adopt an identity of upward striving for four years away from their parents while they meet a new group of friends like that might be 90% of the university for all we know because it's certainly the for me for example when I went to college I I left home when I was 17 and I left a small this small town I had grown up in and in many ways I left the peers that I had

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been associating with now a couple of them came to college with me so I had a Toe Hold there but I made an entirely different group of friends and they were friends whose goals were quite radically different from the friends that I let's say in some sense Left Behind well the reformulation of my peer Network might have been the most important part of of the first part of my education now I was fortunate at this place it was called Grand Perry College I had seven professors seven which is really good who really love to teach and so I also learned a lot in the formal sense but while I was doing that I was also

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negotiating well how much partying do you actually do because zero isn't the right amount but every goddamn night till 3 in the morning isn't the right amount either because you have to balance that in some sense with practicality and upward striving and so so and and how do I live with other people my roommates so I had one roommate who's a really good friend of mine still and he walked a thousand miles with me this year when I was Ill literally so um I really liked living with him because he was tough guy worked in lead smelters and he was a cowboy and he was a tough guy four years older than me about 3 years older than me had' come

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back to school after bouncing around through these like tough working class occupations and he had his feet on the ground in lots of ways and I re liked him as a roommate because I'd buy some groceries and then he'd buy some groceries or I'd make dinner and he'd make breakfast and none of that was ever explicitly negotiated he was just very aware of this reciprocal it's reciprocal altruism technically he was very good at we were both good at tracking our mutual obligations and fulfilling them so we had very peaceful relationship I lived with him for a year and and then a little bit in different at different times and in different places and I I

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learned to live with a whole variety of roommates I had many roommates uh we had a kind of a frat house in the first college I went to and I think anywhere from six to 20 people lived there depending on the week you know it was really it was ridiculous was way too much fun and that was also a problem but when I look back on that time in my life I certainly can't reduce the educational experience to Virtual classes and virtual tests that's maybe that's 10% of it and we don't know how to replicate those environments that are so formative especially in in their everydayness you know because you live with your roommates that's a 24-hour thing and so

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the problem with virtualization is that we don't understand our environments well enough to be certain that we're not excluding something vital when we concentrate only on what we think conceptually is important now I meet with my son pretty regularly for a project we're working on which is an app that will teach people to write well they write and use it so we're quite excited about this but I meet with him virtually once a week and it's actually very efficient he's on the screen we can see our project in front of us we can do Mutual editing of of the of the uh underlying material educational material there's a real place for it and I have a

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cottage up north in Toronto where we've set up a studio like your studio here although ours isn't quite as impressive but I can have a interview and discussion with anyone anywhere in the world even in a foreign language and that's like unbelievably remarkable but but that doesn't mean that we know how to virtualized reality or that we should flee into it right and these new technologies they're unbelievably radical and they're very hard to master and so we all have to be careful and try to keep our feet on the ground to some degree when we're using them so for example now I've really only figured this out in the last three months I get

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up and I I do a series of O exercises that my wife taught me that are based in the Kundalini Yoga tradition that's real helpful flexibility and breathing exercises that reduces my anxiety during the day I would say about 25% and then I try to reserve some time either for writing or I'm working on a number of artistic projects and so I'm going to do one or or those for a couple hours in the morning and then maybe a walk or something with my wife and breakfast I have breakfast during all this and then I can turn to the sort of connected World email and the podcasts and so so forth and so there's this balance between privacy introverted

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privacy let's say and disconnect from everyone except for my wife and then uh contemplated reconnection with the virtual world that seems to be working out pretty well and you want to get a balance of that that's actually to use a terrible cliche sustainable right so you want to hit your projects hard but you have to leave in that not with entertainment but with culture because those are not the same thing um entertainment is an approximation to culture and you need to leave in that with culture that's Beauty and drama and art and all of that and then with intimate relationships and friendships and well it's very difficult to get the

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balance of all that correct and it's very difficult to do that virtually so but I certainly wouldn't forgo the technology and neither would the rest of us it's like people complain about their their phones but they carry them with them everywhere they go and I'm not cynical about that the phone it's not a phone God only knows what it is but it's definitely not a phone and so it's not surprising that since it just appeared and it's so insanely powerful that we don't know what to do with it and that might even wreck everything like God only knows Twitter itself could bring civilization to a halt we we don't know how to manage

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the unintended consequences of our technological prowess and that's exactly it that's it's the we we invent technology often it seems for efficiency or to increase productivity and it's almost impossible because of that ignorance to what the um the unintended consequences might be to predict them ahead of time so we we optimize essential doctrine of conservative political philosophy right is beware of unintended consequences it's like oh no this thing will just do what I want it to do and nothing else it's like no even Marx knew that wasn't true Marx Marx developed a concept the

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concept of alienation you know we get alienated from a the products of our effort that's part of the reason he didn't like factories uh and and fair enough you know because factory work which is repetitive in some sense destroys our artisanal relationship with what we produce now the problem with Marx's analysis is that yeah but it's pretty damn efficient and it lifts people out of absolute poverty really quickly so but that doesn't mean that and existential philosophers after marks develop the concept of alienation to quite a high degree and Technology does alienate us because of its artificiality and its and its its coldness and its

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mechanistic nature all of that and well we have to contend with that wisely and then you ask well how do you contend with things wisely and I would say well don't pollute your thoughts with deceit you compromise your own wisdom how are you going to make intelligent not Intelligent Decisions wise decisions that's why you shouldn't lie it's like you're warping the mechanism that orients you in the world do you really want to do that this is a brutal world man and I've seen this in my clinical practice people whose houses are built on foundations of sand and the wind starts to blow and the floods start to rise and they are in such trouble such

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trouble if you're lucky and something terrible comes your way and you're reasonably honest and your relationships are in good order maybe you won't end up in hell and and I mean hell I don't mean death there's lots of situations you can get yourself in where death would be far preferable to what you're going through so you you need to be afraid of that it's like don't lie I in my clinical practice in 20 years working with every sort of person you could imagine I never ever saw anyone get away with anything even once so yeah we're all subject not least to the Judgment of our own conscience try

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to escape from that no one can escape from that over the last two years the world has gone through this this pandemic for a lot of people this is the first time um espec for a certain generation this is the first time they've experienced such unpredictable tectonic um uh dis stabilization in their lives like we I didn't even believe Society was something that could close I didn't believe the tech there was I didn't even know there was tectonic plates under my business that could shut down my business right and also in your over the last two years you've undergone some really you know I don't even know what

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the right adjective is to use to to tonic's not bad we'll go with tectonic then sure um tectonic you know unfortunate um challenges I'll say in your life but also you know with your family what are the lessons we learn from the the pandemic and from that type of tectonic suffering about what actually matters in our lives well we'll see with regard to the pandemic because although in some sense it is in some ways over our reaction to it is by no means over and part of the reason that we overreacted I would say so precipitously to it is that we were unprepared for such things in our naivity and then we rush to imitate a

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totalitarian Society in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic emergence and that's something that everybody should think about a lot and we're not done with all that totalitarian nonsense yet a lot of that's driven by well fear and naivity I mean 50% of Democrats in the United States believe you have a 50% chance of being hospitalized with Co and 25% of Republicans believe the same thing and you can point a finger at people and laugh at their ignorance but you should really ask well why is this overestimate of that magnitude and what does that mean in relationship to policy and I've had conversations with people advising at the highest level of

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government in particularly in Canada who've told me flat out and they're very reliable sources that none of the covid policy for the last year was driven by Reliance on science it's all opinion poll and that's really pernicious because well who's asking the questions and how did they set up the answer and who's answering and in what emotional state and so to what degree are we led by considerations of short-term propitiation of unwarranted fear well that's no way for free people to live it certainly won't work in the long run we're already seeing tremendous supply chain disruptions and likely the emergence of an inflationary pressure

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that we haven't experienced since the 1970s in the aftermath aftermath of the oil shocks and none of that has sorted itself out yet I believe that we will conclude that our response to the pandemic caused more death and misery than the pandemic itself and we have no endgame in sight another thing I asked the people that I was speaking with it's like when is this over well we don't know what would over look like well we don't really no and now what you see is this insistence on about a monthly basis that a new and radically different variant has emerged and this virus viruses mutate all the time but this virus particularly mutates and there are

40:65-41:34

small mutations and medium-sized mutations numbers let's say and also effect and and larger scale mutations when is that a variant well how about whenever it's convenient for the pharmaceutical companies think well that's cynical it's is it now the biggest lawsuits in the history of the American Judicial System have been levied against the largest pharmaceutical companies on a regular basis for the last 20 years and since when have has it been a proposition of the political left that pharmaceutical companies necessarily have our best interests in mind now I'm not particularly cynical about

41:34-42:00

pharmaceutical companies I think they have a hard job both in terms of research and development and marketing and sales and they're going to do what they can to Market and sell but that doesn't mean that they are now to be the Arbiters of all public policy because our politicians are too cowardly and incompetent to do anything but devolve their responsibilities to so-called experts domain experts politics is not Public Health that's medicine politics is the art of analyzing the entire situation and charting a course forward All Things Considered and for politicians to trot out the experts and say follow the

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science just means that they've abdicated their own responsibilities and I think it's appalling I mean I'm not convinced that the evidence that masks work is scientifically credible it's certainly at least doubtful and that's just masks I read a paper the other day suggesting that to prevent the transmission of one case of covid you have to lock down a thousand people like how is that justified especially given that the mortality rate of covid is actually quite low unless you have a pre-existent health problem particularly obesity and although old age also qualifies as it does for most uh diseases but not

42:63-43:32

all and with regards to let's say the issue of child vaccination it's like children have an unbelievably tiny chance of dying from covid I don't think there's any scientific justification for immunizing children under 12 now at least at least it's debatable and I'm not a domain expert although I'm a decent scientist and I know how to read the research material and so well we'll see what we have to learn from these tectonic shifts underneath and you know you might ask yourself well was that a tectonic shift in dire physical necessity because the covid virus was genuinely so dangerous or was it an indication tectonically of our

43:32-43:97

absolute inadequacy in the face of even a moderate existential challenge and maybe it's a little column A and A little column B you know so I have to ask the question if if we were to make your Jordan Peterson the president of the world and these were your decisions to make do you know what you would have done um differently or in response to this virus emerging in Wuhan I would say well thank you for the offer but I declined the position and the reason I would say that is because I think the right solution to the more serious ious problems is to be found at the level of the

43:97-44:65

individual so I don't think if I wanted to pursue what I regarded as the ultimate goal I the ultimate goal for me is the encouragement of the individual and that's not a that's not essentially a political Enterprise it's essentially a theological Enterprise and politics has to be subordinate to that and so I've debated throughout the entire course of my life whether I would adopt a political career it was my initial ambition when I was very young 14 I would say but when push came to shove at every decision point in my life if I had to choose between working on the encouragement of the individual and pursuing a or

44:65-45:49

pursuing a political career um I always chose the the former and that's happened every time the decision has come up I've have been approached by people in Canada to involve myself more deeply in a practical role um and also publicly as a political figure but I'd rather do what I'm doing I'm in contact with people working politically all the time both on the people in the middle people on the right people on the left I'm agnostic about that because I know full well that conservatives have something to say and left leaning liberals have something to say that's basically predic ated to some degree on their temperament so conservatives tend to be more

45:49-46:13

conscientious so that's orderly and industrious dutiful patriotic uh willing to make and keep verbal contracts reliable capable of implementation at the level of detail that's kind of conservative virtues there but they tend to be lower in creativity openness to experience they don't think as divergently and their conscientiousness tends to constrain their creativity where whereas the liberal types they're high in openness to experience that's the creativity Dimension but they tend to be lower in conscientiousness particularly orderliness and so what that means is those with a liberal temperament tend to be creative

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entrepreneurs and those with a conservative temperament tend to be managerial and administrative that doesn't mean they can't run businesses well you want a conservative person to run your business you might want a more liberal person to Pepper you with off thee all ideas you know and then if you're going to run an Enterprise business or a society there has to be a continual dialogue between people of different temperaments so that we can keep the ship of State let's say tracking to an Ever moving destination that's why free speech is so necessary it's not another right it's the right so because none of us know what's going on

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in the final analysis because the future is different than the past really we have to talk about what to do all the time because even if we made wise decisions in the past that doesn't mean that we can mindlessly replicate those decisions right now in the present to deal with a changing future so I want to help encourage people to become the sort of people who can engage in that free dialogue and I think that's the best way forward especially as we all become more technologically powerful it's like you better be smart enough to use your iPhone B and that's pretty damn smart let's say wise because that's no trivial Gadget and if you're not careful with it

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it will turn on you it will build authoritarian presumptions into our artificial intelligence systems for example and then look the hell out so if you're going to have a hydrogen bomb you better be wise enough to wield it on that point of the encouragement of the individual we all have people in our lives that we want to encourage we hope yeah we hope right and um we sometimes fall foul of trying to force our own bias our own intention for them on them what is the best way if I've got a friend in my life or you know partner that I want to encourage to come out of their place of Despair into a better

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place how do I effectively do that without overpowering them or stifling them or making them feel inadequate which is sometimes the consequence of trying to change someone you love well example's good but then I would say disabuse yourself of the notion that you know what is best for this person you don't not only do you not know you actually don't want that responsibility for two reasons let's say they do what you say and something good happens to them well whose Victory is that yours are theirs and if it's yours did you just steal it and then let's say they fail following

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your advice well they pay the price for that and you can skip away merrily and say well I should have spoke more carefully it's like you don't mess about with people's Destiny you do not know where they're headed now having said that you do what you're doing in this interview in this podcast you ask people questions real questions you know like how are you feeling I'm not doing so good today well you know what's up what's going on and you can't think well I'm going to ask questions to lead this person in a particular direction because that's the same game the same instrumental game you have to see what it is that you want to

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know I see this when people ask me questions after my lectures you know now now and then or during a Q&A now and then people get up and they'll ask a real question it's part of the ongoing dialogue something inst struck them they stand up there's something they really want to know it's honest question and that goes real well but not infrequently someone stands up with a little prepared speech that's packaged as a question so I get this from Christian traditionalists fairly frequently they get up and they ask me about my religious convictions but really what they want to do is Corner me into admitting that I should accept Jesus

50:29-51:01

Christ as my savior and and join a particular let's say uh um denomination it's not a question it's just a manipulation and so your questions like your statements your questions should be honest and if you ask people questions and you really listen they will untangle themselves and that's partly why people love to be attended to you know like if I meet people on the street you know I ask them their name they're all usually flustered when they come up to me they don't really want to interrupt me and then they're flustered and the first thing I do is shake their hand and ask them their name and I listen you

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know not that good at remembering names but I listen to it and and they know how to say their name and so it kind of settles them down and then it sort of marks them out as a person against the background eh and then if I pay attention to them and listen they will tell me something in like 10 seconds that I need to know cuz they're they have something to say you know and then if you listen people tell you what they have to say and then you get wise because you collect all that and so you want to help someone well first of all you would decide that you're aiming towards help right and and that you do that in the

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spirit of ignorance this is what every good clinician learns is I don't know where you're headed I don't know what's wrong with you this is a hard problem man it's like what's your problem I don't know what your problem is so let's find that out first and then let's find out one thing you you can ask people this is actually useful in an argument with someone you love they're they're upset with you what are your preconditions for satisfaction now I wouldn't state it like that it's like if I could give you what you wanted right now in the context of this argument and I wasn't doing it in a manipulative way what is it that I

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would have to say or do that would in principle satisfy you and that's a hard question you know and the person might say well I think you should apologize and about this and you know and then I will say what words should I use and they'll say well if you love me you'd know and I would say no I'm stupid and ignorant and I don't know what the right words are to satisfy you so why don't you give me a hand with that and all utter them inelegantly and awkwardly in a good faith demonstration of my commitment to peace and that won't be so good because maybe it would have been better if I came up with it myself but maybe next time I can do slightly

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better and that works it it requires the person who's after you to think through the question even of whether there's anything that could be said or done that would satisfy them and if the answer to that is no well probably the relationship is over but certainly the person that they're accusing has been put in an absolutely impossible position but usually almost inevitably if the person meditates on it for a bit there is something that would satisfy them that can be negotiated as long as they're willing to give you the opportunity to do it you know stupidly and badly so listening

53:65-54:34

Man Jimmy car I talked to Jimmy car two weeks ago theous comedian yeah he's real interesting um he said comedy is the most dialogical of of the entertainment forms and I thought well what do you mean by that because you're just talk it's a monologue right now I do monologues but I pay attention to the audience right I'm always talking to individual people in the audience and watching their reactions and listening to the audience as a whole so even though it's a leure let's say or a talk I'm watching the audience and responding so we're in a kind of dance well Carr pointed out that comedians before they hit the road and this is

54:34-55:03

virtually in invariably the case they have their new routines so their their their Corpus of potentially funny jokes and then they do 200 shows in front of small audiences and the audience either laughs or doesn't and if you're listening you collect all the jokes that people laugh at if you do that 200 times you have nothing but hilarious material but you listen and then you can go out on the road and that was very interesting to me because humor is a mysterious phenomenon experientially and conceptually and it's sort of precognitive and instinctual but it's also extremely sophisticated then

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there's an element of transcendence about it right because you can laugh at yourself and that's in some sense the highest form of humor and so it's so interesting that we can criticize and Elevate ourselves at the same time and that we find that intensely pleasurable and so a good comedian collects ways to do that shares them with the audience and he's listening and so if you want to help someone the best way to help someone is not to give them advice but to listen to them so I had a guest actually come on this podcast before Jimmy car Jimmy car was on two weeks ago and we had a great conversation about um happiness and the

55:68-56:24

nature of happiness and the guest before Jimmy car wrote in my diary which is a tradition we have now where all the guests that come on write a question for the next guest so there is a question in there for you but the guest wrote a question um which changed his life which is um are you happy and I from reading your work and understanding your position on happiness and it not being the thing to aim for which really struck me because I thought you know the I thought life was the north star of Our Lives was to try and be happy I guess my question is what I was going to ask you that question aim to be good and pray for happiness so the question I was

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going it's pretty much that is what is a better question for me to ask you if I'm checking in on you because we ask that question with good intentions are happy what's a better question for me to ask Jordan Peterson how are you doing how are you doing how are you doing brilliantly and terribly that's you know when you listen to a profound piece of music one that sort of spans the whole emotional experience it's not happy happy is elevator music and probably you just shouldn't listen to that at all right

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and and you think why well it's harmless it's trickly it's sweet uh it's simple it lacks depth it's shallow that's a problem um it doesn't have that deep sense of awe and horror I would say that is characteristic of the best of all music you know you listen to some Mis simple music so-called Hank Williams is a good example you know the blues Cowboy from the 50s who died of alcoholism when he was 27 and whose voice sounds like an 80-year-old man simple Melody you know but there's nothing simple in the song and and in the voice it's deep you know it's like the blues it's it's like Black Blues in the States from the 20s and

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this was certainly influenced by that tradition there's this admission of a deep suffering at the same time as you get the beautiful Transcendence of the music and that's meaning you know that's awful in the most fundamental sense but you need an antidote to suffering and it has to be deep and know deep moves you tectonically and it's not a trivial thing and but that's better than happiness and maybe if you're lucky while you're pursuing that and while you're immersed in it you get to be happy and and you should fall on your knees and be grateful for that when it happens you know it's a gift it really

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is a gift and it comes upon you unexpectedly your happiness you know but you aim to climb uphill to the highest peak you can possibly Envision and that's that's better than happiness why did you include terribly well for example now when I go wherever I go in the world people come up to me and they're usually I wouldn't say they're happy to see me they're often in tears you know and they often have a pretty rough story to relate you know they were suicidal or nihilistic or homicidal or trapped desperate you know and they tell me that

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real fast and then they say I've overcome that to a large degree and thank you for that and and you think well that's really something to have that happen over and over in some ways you might think well how could anything better possibly happen to you than to have people come up to you all over the world strangers and open themselves up like that like their old friends so quickly but at the same po time it's an awful thing because you see even in the revelation of their Triumph the initial depth of their despair so I wouldn't change that but it's not nothing it's certainly not just

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happiness it's better than happiness but it's almost unbearable God tears again it's been quite a two weeks in the UK it's been May amazing it's been amazing such a great country this country such a profound place and was so wonderful to see Cambridge and Oxford and to be welcomed by the students and I saw the cues around the block and the the reaction you got I watched the talk in Cambridge and um it was so wonderful to see because it you know I know that you don't do what you do for credit that kind of seems to be you know the antithesis of pursuing your truth and

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doing it for the in the cause of Truth but um it was so wonderful to see someone that I know has had such a profound impact on so many be received in such a way we have a closing tradition um one of the you know I don't nor do this but one of the the really great CEOs in our country young guys bought a multi-billion dollar company really great guy sat here yesterday and I actually told him for the first time who he was writing the question for and I couldn't believe his face oh my God that's the one person I want to have dinner with this is probably the most successful young person in our country and he was and so he knew who he was

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writing the question for so the question that the previous guest wrote is for you is why do you do what you do to see what will happen some programs you you cannot predict right you cannot predict how they're going to end you have to run them well you know I believe that truth will save the world I believe that so you speak truthfully and you watch what happens and you take your consequences you know and maybe you hope and have some faith that in the final analysis things will work out in your favor but perhaps they will and perhaps they won't but that's Faith they that's

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Faith it's Faith isn't believing in things you regard as ridiculous sacrificing your intellect it's a decision you know will truth beauty and love save the world well well you could find out thank you doesn't seem to quite cut it for the impact you've had even on me and also for giving me your time and I know you understand the tremendous value of time I've I've seen it so much in your work so I'm going to say thank you but I'm also going to make a commitment to do something which I think is more important which is just to be truthful and I think with the platform I have and the years I have ahead of me maybe

Key Themes, Chapters & Summary

Key Themes

  • Concept of Seduction as Power

  • Developing Genuine Confidence

  • Significance of Body Language

  • Dynamics of Power

  • Influence of Early Childhood Experiences

  • Strategies in Dating and Relationships

Chapters

  • Understanding Seduction in the Context of Power

  • Building True Confidence

  • The Role of Non-Verbal Communication

  • Exploring the Nature of Power

  • Childhood Impact on Power Dynamics

  • Navigating Modern Dating and Relationships


Summary

The podcast transcript of Jordan Peterson's interview is extensive and covers a multitude of topics, including personal growth, relationships, career development, societal issues, and the pursuit of truth and happiness. Here's a structured and descriptive summary:


1. Personal Growth and Self-Improvement:

Jordan Peterson emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and confronting one's own inadequacies. He advises introspection to identify and rectify personal faults, suggesting that individuals ask themselves what they are doing wrong that they could fix. This process, while challenging, is crucial for personal growth.


2. Relationships and Authenticity:

The dialogue touches on the significance of being truthful in relationships. Peterson discusses how authenticity strengthens connections, while wearing a persona can lead to superficial relationships. He advocates for honesty and openness as key to deepening bonds with others.


3. Career and Workplace Dynamics:

Peterson delves into workplace issues, focusing on the feeling of being undervalued and the importance of negotiating effectively. He provides detailed advice on preparing for such negotiations, including updating resumes and applying for jobs to strengthen one's position.


4. Confronting Inadequacies and Negotiation Skills:

He stresses the need to confront one's own inadequacies, even in unjust situations, to place oneself in a stronger negotiating position. Peterson highlights the lack of education in negotiation and goal-setting, which he considers vital life skills.


5. Self-Awareness and Improvement:

The conversation then moves to building self-awareness, crucial for self-development. Peterson suggests a contemplative exercise where individuals meditate on their shortcomings and commit to addressing them.


6. The Role of Struggle and Chaos:

Peterson discusses the necessity of struggle and chaos in life, arguing that overcoming these challenges leads to growth and fulfillment. He criticizes the notion of a struggle-free life, pointing out that meaningful achievements come from facing and conquering difficulties.


7. Impact of Remote Working and Technological Changes:

The interview addresses the shift to remote working and its impact on social connections. Peterson expresses concerns about the inability of virtual environments to fully replicate the formative experiences of physical spaces, such as universities or workplaces.


8. Dealing with Life's Tectonic Shifts:

Peterson reflects on how the pandemic has revealed society's unpreparedness for major crises, leading to overreactions and a reliance on technological solutions. He questions the long-term consequences of such responses.


9. The Role of Truth and Encouraging Individuals:

Throughout the interview, Peterson emphasizes the importance of truth in guiding one's actions. He advocates for the encouragement of individuals, viewing it as a theological rather than political endeavor.


10. Balancing Life's Elements:

Finally, Peterson speaks on finding balance in life by integrating personal projects, cultural engagement, and maintaining relationships. He advises against relying solely on technology and stresses the importance of engaging in meaningful activities.


Overall, the interview is rich with insights on personal development, societal challenges, and the pursuit of a meaningful life. Peterson's perspectives provide thought-provoking ideas on confronting one's own flaws, improving relationships, navigating career paths, and finding balance in a rapidly changing world.